CURRICULUM

General Design


HistoryAtOurHouse has been created to provde a systematic, full-featured presentation of history to students beginning in 2nd grade and extending all the way into college.


The curriculum design reflects a basic premise: that history provides indispensable knowledge about the world, which must be conveyed starting at an early age, and continually pursued--at higher and higher levels of abstraction and intellectual penetration--throughout a child's academic career.


The progression of material covered in the Full IntegrationTM curriculum is carefully arranged so that students encounter material that is suitable for their context of knowledge and values, and challenges them to achieve greater and greater intellectual independence.


Importantly, the HistoryAtOurHouse program is more than just a traditional History of Western civilization. It does not ignore the rest of the world and its development as if it were irrelevant or unvaluable. However, in presenting a "wider perspective," it avoids the mistake of being an indiscriminate World History that treats all aspects of the past as if they were equally important to our children here in America. The HistoryAtOurHouse curriculum meets the needs of modern American children to understand the world around them through a Western History of Civilization.


Full IntegrationTM


The HistoryAtOurHouse curriculum is the world's only Full IntegrationTM history curriculum. Basically, what this means is that every level of its program is connected to every other level--that what is taught in 2nd grade, is connected to what is taught in 3rd grade all the way on up to 12th grade, and vice versa.


This may seem intuitively correct, or even obvious. But in typical brick-and-mortar institutions, teachers specialize in either one grade level--or worse, in one limited subject, such as American history--and rarely consider how what they are teaching fits into a broader educational system.


At HistoryAtOurHouse, every component of the program is a building block--from the foundation of the LowerEl curriculum, to the capstone of the High School curriculum. Every piece has been tailored to fit together and complement the others, so that students emerge with a viable, retainable sum of knowledge. No student will be better prepared for college history, philosophy, law, or entrepreurship than a HistoryAtOurHouse graduate!


And--of critical importance--HistoryAtOurHouse students can look forward to college credit and advanced placement for their work! This homeschooling program won't be a handicap when it comes to college placement; it will be an asset!


LowerEl


History for Lower Elementary Students (Age 7-8, Grade Levels: 2,3)
Theme: The Romance of History.


For children this age, it is crucial that history be presented as a story, with interesting characters, in both strange and familiar settings, involved in compelling conflicts, both moving and being moved by events around them. The goal is to create the "History Habit"--lasting impressions about the past, combined with a desire to learn more.


This program operates under a three-year rotation:


Depending on the age of the student when they first join the program, they may stay with the LowerEl program for all three years, or move up to the UpperEl program part way through the rotation. The progression of the students through the different levels is generally at the discretion of parents.


Year 1 of the program presents Ancient History to the Fall of Rome. The focus in this program is to present the famous names of history in continuous setting. The main actors and guiding ideas of history are presented chronologically, so that students can see the progression of historical changes. The story begins with the Ancient Empires of Egypt and Mesopotamia, moves through to the conflict between Persian and Greece, and then to the rise and fall of Rome.


Year 2 of the program presents European History to the Present. The focus this time around, when studying Europe is again to familiarize the student with the main actors who moved the story forward. This especially involves the stories of popes and emperors, and of English and French kings. The story of the different nations and their struggles to create representative governments are traced, and the student learns how the modern world emerged from the connected stories of the different countries.


Year 3 of this level presents America and its European Roots. The Story of America is drawn back to its roots found in European culture. Colonization, including the challenges of encountering Native Americans, and colonial wars are studied through stories of important figures such as John Smith and Pocahontas, through to the American Revolution and the Founding Fathers. Then America's decline into Civil War is traced through the story of the various compromises attempted between North and South. The Industrial Revolution, and America's involvement in the World Wars cap off the story, which helps students see the connection of the story to the world around them.


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COMING SOON
The LowerEl Curriculum in Detail



UpperEl


History for Upper Elementary Students (Age 9-11, Grade Levels: 4-6)
Theme: A Foundation of Knowledge.


Once children have a taste for knowledge, it's important to encourage their intellectual growth. This stage of the program focuses on creating a framework of knowledge, by showing how history is united by an unbroken chain of cause and effect. In this approach, significant thinking about how the different stories in history fit together takes precedence over rote memorization as the basic learning model.


This program operates under a three-year rotation:


Year 1 of the program presents Ancient History to the Fall of Rome. The focus in this program is to present the story of the past as a "causally integrated narrative." The main actors and guiding ideas of history are presented chronologically, demonstrating the consequences of ideas in action on the scale of nations and empires. The stagnation of Ancient Empires (such as Egypt and Mesopotamia) is contrasted with the progress--and setbacks--of democracies and early republics.


Year 2 of the UpperEl program presents European History to the Present. The focus this time around, when studying Europe is the causal progress of the story, culminating in Europe of the present-day: the European Union The story of the different nations and their struggles to create representative governments are traced, with an eye to the major conflicts of the Twentieth Century, and the emergence of "Supranationalism."


Year 3 of this level presents America and its European Roots. The Story of America is drawn back to the key causal roots found in European culture. Colonization, including the challenges of encountering Native Americans, and colonial wars (as part of the larger theme of imperial wars) are all studied for their role in shaping the American Revolution, which is the pivot point into a uniquely American story, involving the Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, and America's involvement in the World Wars due to "Internationalism".


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The UpperEl Curriculum in Detail



Junior High


History for Junior High Students (Age 12-14, Grade Levels: 7-9)
Theme: History as a Unity.


The Junior High program is the heart of the HistoryAtOurHouse curriculum. It is at this stage that students have reached the intellectual maturity to conceptually piece history together for themselves, with the teacher's guidance. In the Junior High program students are taught to seek out not merely causal progressions, but also key groupings of developments--historical periods--to help them integrate the story of the past.


This program operates under a three-year rotation:


Year 1 of the program presents Ancient Civilizations. In this program, the development of river valley civilizations around the world, including India and China, are presented. Common themes of despotism, theocracy, and democracy are developed. The relative development of America, Europe, Africa, and Asia are detailed through to c.AD 1000.


Year 2 of the Junior High program presents Europe, its Empires, and the Rise of the Modern World . Europe once again serves as the hub for the second year of this pedagogical sequence. This time, however, the focus is on the its connections with Africa and the Middle East, and later with Asia and America, through its empires--especially the British Empire. The relative development of major cultures, such as China and India, are importantly tied to the eventual dominance of European civilization through to the Twentieth Century.


Year 3 of this level presents America and the Modern World. In this component of the Western History of Civilization America serves as the hub, with the emphasis placed on the major periods of its development. But the evolution of Latin America is also traced, followed by the growing connections between America and Asia in the Nineteenth Century, leading to the "Internationalist" period of the present.


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COMING SOON
The Junior High Curriculum in Detail



High School (and beyond)


History for High School Students (Age 15-18, Grade Levels: 10-12)
Theme: Ideas That Moved the World.


The High School program of HistoryAtOurHouse is its capstone. Once students have completed the curriculum, and achieved an integrated, lasting knowledge of the past, they are perfectly positioned to begin intellectual history, i.e. the search for the deeper causes behind history. This component of the curriculum involves both lectures and seminars in which "primary sources" are discussed.


This program operates under a three-year rotation:


Year 1 of the program presents The Roots of Civilization. This component looks at the key ideas that shaped the direction of major civilizations. Primary sources such as Plato's Phaedo and Republic, and the Bible--for Western civilization, and writings of Confucius and the Legalists--for Eastern civilization, are presented and discussed.


Year 2 of the High School program presents Europe and Asia: Ideas in Action. The development of the ideas of feudalism and "divine right" monarchy are compared in their different contexts. The emergence of republicanism and socialism in the West, drawing on sources such as John Locke's Second Treatise on Government, Rousseau's Social Contract, and Marx's Communist Manifesto are carefully examined.


Year 3 of this level presents America: A "New World" of Ideas. In this course, the development of American republicanism is thoroughly plotted. The difficult achievement of religious freedom is examined, through sources such as the Mayflower Compact and Massachusetts Body of Liberties. The Enlightenment ideals of Jefferson, Madison, and Adams are the main focus, with The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights receiving in depth analysis. Later developments, such as abolitionism and civil rights are also treated.


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COMING SOON
The High School Curriculum in Detail



How it All Fits Together




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